Chris Duhon's hefty deal -- he's due a total of $14.25 million through 2013-14 -- could be useful for matching purposes in a larger trade for the Magic. (Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
The 100-plus players who signed free-agent deals between July 1 and Sept. 15 are eligible to be traded starting Wednesday. The importance of the date can be a little overblown, because most trades don’t happen until closer to the Feb. 24 trade deadline and team executives often spend December mulling how recent signees might fit in deals. A few other caveats:
• Teams signed free agents presumably because they want those players. A bad first 30 games shouldn’t be enough in most cases to turn a team’s perception of a player on its head. J.J. Redick might be shooting 39 percent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Orlando wants out of his three-year, $20 million deal (with the last season not guaranteed). He’s also a base-year compensation player, which makes him much trickier to move. And although ESPN’s Marc Stein reported over the weekend that Redick might be available, the chances that Orlando would move him are slim.
• Most free-agent signees aren’t making much, meaning they alone can’t bring back much salary in a trade if their original team is over the cap. The Heat, for instance, have a pile of minimum contract free agents they can trade beginning Wednesday, but dealing Juwan Howard ($854,000) or Eddie House ($1.35 million) won’t net the Heat very much talent.
• Teams aren’t going to be clamoring to take on pricey deals amid collective bargaining uncertainty. The Brendan Haywood and Travis Outlaw deals for Dallas and New Jersey, respectively, look pretty bad already. In the Nets’ case, they are going to have a heck of a time persuading any team to pay Outlaw $35 million through 2014-15 with a lockout next season appearing very likely. And given Tyson Chandler’s injury history, the Mavs might be reluctant to move Haywood, despite his contract.
• Teams close to the luxury-tax line – such as the Hawks, Spurs, Bucks and Sixers – aren’t going to add enough salary to push them over the threshold.
With all of this in mind, here are a few teams who have free agents worth considering in trades.
(All salary information is courtesy of ShamSports)